Lorenzo strongest in Spanish qualifying showdown
Round 2: Spanish MotoGP™ - Qualifying Practice
Circuito de Jerez, Saturday 28 April 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium
Weather: Dry. Ambient 18-20°C; Track 23-30°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo emerged from a captivating contest with compatriot Dani Pedrosa to qualify on pole position for the Jerez MotoGP™ with a time of 1m 39.532s.
Lorenzo utilised a combination of a soft rear slick tyre and the new specification front slick tyre in the harder compound to set his benchmark time, with the extra stability and confidence provided by the newly-introduced front tyre enabling the Spaniard to expertly deal with the tricky conditions.
On the Repsol Honda, Pedrosa was just 0.135 seconds adrift of Lorenzo and will start the race in second place, while Ducati’s Nicky Hayden continued his good progress by securing a front-row start with a lap time of 1:40.563. Power Electronics Aspar rider Randy de Puniet was the top CRT rider in qualifying, his time of 1:41.700 slotting the Frenchman in tenth on the grid.
Including Lorenzo, ten riders utilised the new specification front slick tyre in qualifying with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies and the Monster Tech3 Yamaha pairing of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso all setting their fastest time with this latest development in Bridgestone MotoGP™ tyre technology.
The morning FP3 session was cold and wet with track temperatures hovering around 14°C meaning teams had no time to find a dry setup before qualifying. The sun appeared in time for qualifying, however the earlier rain meant conditions were far from ideal.
The weather forecast indicates rain is also possible during tomorrow’s 27-lap race, with the action set to start at 1400 local time (GMT+2).
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport
“Qualifying today was the first dry running we have had this weekend, but conditions were still not ideal due to the rain we had during FP3. Even though track conditions were not very good, overall our slick tyres worked very well with riders reporting good warm-up performance and initial grip. Some riders used the new specification front tyre and I am pleased with the feedback we received about this new development.
“All riders used the soft rear compound during qualifying and our durability data indicates that should conditions be similar for tomorrow’s race, the soft rear tyre is a feasible option so some riders may select this option for the race. Qualifying was very exciting so I hope we have a dry race as we may see a very good contest.”